Campaign launched to protect grasslands that inspired author Thomas Hardy

Bournemouth Echo: CAMPAIGN: Dorset Wildlife Trust is backing calls for a review of grassland protection CAMPAIGN: Dorset Wildlife Trust is backing calls for a review of grassland protection

THREATENED grassland is being supported by Dorset Wildlife Trust which is backing a campaign to review its protection.

Dorset grasslands have inspired writers such as Thomas Hardy and are vital resources for wildlife and for people, as they allow landscapes to hold water and reduce flooding.

“Grasslands are undergoing decline, with immense pressures such as development, changes in agricultural practices and neglect leaving them fighting for survival,” said living landscapes manager Debbie Watkins.

The small pearl bordered fritillary and the marsh fritillary butterflies are at risk from the decline of any species-rich grassland. Barn owls and bees also depend on wild grasses and flowers and could suffer from the loss of grassland.

“DWT is working with Dorset’s landowners and farmers to advise them on how to manage grassland through our grassland restoration project, ‘Pastures New’, but we also need support at a national level through the Common Agricultural Policy to ensure farmers get the support they need to continue protecting grasslands in Dorset,” said Debbie.

To sign the Wildlife Trust’s petition calling on government to take full account of the remaining grassland and the threats they face while making key decisions about the CAP visit wildlifetrusts.org/dontfadeaway

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